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Letting Go


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Hello guys,


well, with much interest I've been reading around here lately. First of all I'd like to let you guys know that English isn't my native language, so if you see some weird stuff, I beg your forgiveness (you know how to by now I recon). As far as I know religious life is kind of different over here at this side of the Atlantic. Religion is not that big as it was before, Traditional churches are having a hard time for a long time now and new ways of (very) charismatic 'stuff' is finding it's way. I tell you this because being a christian over here is not what it's like to be a christian over there, at least that's what I think. I think in the US your leaders, neighbours, teachers and what not use or abuse their choices 'with the bible in hand and hearts' so to speak. Over here it's just your thing, except for some regions. Most of the time people beg not to bothered by some old fashioned beliefs. The entire culture is very different due to the weight of religion being very different. Well that's that. This is where I live, the Netherlands. Home of the free, sort of...


Being raised in a christian family, happy believers. Both my father and mother did stuff for church, us children had to attend church twice on sundays, go to youthclubs on mondays and wednesdays. Weird as it may sound, it never felt as a burden. It felt ok. Safe. I really cannot remember that I ever was threatened with Hell or something, no. Just God is good, mercy by the blood. Mercry from what I didn't really get tho. Believing was normal. In my teens my parents started to send me to camps (in the weekends or a whole week in the summers) hoping I would become a 'living' christian, you know the thing, with the spirit and so on. Those camps had the famous 'Revival Nights'. Us youngsters called them cry-nights. I was around the age of 15, I gave my heart to jesus and went the hardcore christian life. Yes things got different for me. My friends respected me and my choices. Basicly because I stayed myself. I did not change. It was until 10 years later I started to wonder if it wasn't just the whole atmosphere that was created at those Revival Nights, not by spirit but by men.


I married young. Was the way it was supposed to be. Was happy for a while. Until I started to wonder a lot. By that time I became a youth-leader, together with my wife. The guys were very enthousiastic because my wife and I were just so 'normal' and close to them. I found it very hard to just tell them what they should hear, so sometimes I didn't. At church on sundays I just could not sing along, I felt sick if I did. When I told some of the 'elders' and the pastor they were happy with my honesty but at the same time 'my heart was not open'. Right. It was as open as it could be but things just weren't working out for like they supposedly did for most others. My wife and I started to struggle as well. She kept believing the way she did. I went discovering. Long story, short version: we devorced, I lost a lot of friends, and the guys from church must have thought to see a demon whenever i accidentally ran into them at the mall or wherever people meet.


It made me leave the city.


I started a new life, way too fast, and holy shit, the girl I barely knew got pregnant. Great. I was happy. Two months before my daughter got born I had to leave the house. Turned out to be a women with a borderline personality disorder. My daughter is now 4 years old. I've seen her about 6 times.


After that my life went even further downhill. I tried to be the nice guy, hung on to my beliefs. But everything remained silent. Of all the questions I got, non were answered. I haven't been to a church for years now. But until recently I called myself a christian. Why? Because that's me. I just could not see myself being a non believer. The thing that pushed me over the edge lately?


I do not believe in a angry god. I believe he is love. 


But why all the crusified stuff?


Something so cruel ... and 'we' celebrate that?


I see so many friends and some family devoting themselves to churches and it simply doens't make any sense anymore It hurts to see them finding another way to keep their faith valid. Why would you believe in a bible that was written (maybe inspired) by people?? Why trust the guys that decided what book is holy and what is not? It leaves so much to interpretation. That is just bull.. I'm sorry.


I now find myself free. Not from any chains. I didn't feel held back or something. Somewhere and somehow I do hope I am wrong. Just an example: my parents. They live a good life. i admire them. As far as I know...they are saints. The most honest people I know. They will be heart broken if I tell them.


Yet I know it doesn't make any sense. I understand people need something to find relief. But why fool yourselves? Now at least I can start living to my potential instead of falling back into a maze of comfort.


I made the call last week after my (cristian) girlfriend told me to just let go of it. I am very thankfull for her, and her words. 


Six months ago I wrote this song. The wheels were already turning it seems.




You've got to lock and load and fire


You've got the speed to get much higher


Run away, there's nothing left for me to say


Come with me, there's got to be an answer


There's got to be a way


Finally I see who did this


Roman ways to peace and glory


Do you smell the dirty secrets


Take your gun


It's time to shoot it


You've got to lock and load and fire


You've got the speed to get much higher


Trinity, a higher math society


Feed the poor


There's got to be victim


There's got to be a God


You've got to lock and load and fire


You've got the speed to get much higher


You are my friend, my friend a ****ing liar




I am happy I got myself free. But now what?


Thanks for this place by the way. The stories around here are encouraging. I just abused this Testimoies Topic to say hell-o :)


See you!






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Interesting insights. I love reading about the experiences of Christians outside North America, because they are usually very different from our experiences here. What you would consider extreme is just normal here in the USA. How did it get to be this way? It's a question I ask myself endlessly. 


It does seem that the less extreme the church is, the easier it is to deconvert. They keep people in the pews here through fear. Not just hellfire, but xenophobia, racism, homophobia, every kind of fear they can think of. Fear of the "other" in general. That's cultic thinking. Churches here truly are cesspools of the worst aspects of human behavior. 

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  • Super Moderator

Welcome to the forums.

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You sing of guns and of discharging them.  Why?

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Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing your story. I too am a little curious about the gun reference, if you care to expound.


I laughed about your old friends acting like they saw a demon when seeing you at the mall. I see elders from my former church out and about sometimes, and their reactions are mixed and interesting. Some are nice to me, like nothing ever happened. (Really? Weren't you there when you guys voted to metaphorically burn me at the stake?) Another woman elder I have seen twice at Walmart; the first time, she was in line a couple of people behind us, and actually hid behind her taller husband hoping we would not see her. How pathetic is that? (She was one who used to "love" me, and I like to think the guilt is eating her up.) The second time we saw her husband walking down a main aisle pushing the cart. He never shops without her, so I looked around, and there she was...slinking through the women's pajamas section hoping to cut through without being seen by us. Nice try. Pathetic.


Sounds like your parents are good people, so you got lucky there. No need to break their hearts. Just be the good person you always were, try to avoid the subject of religion.


I'm glad you're out of the cult. You are no longer in chains from sin or tied to church commitments (both emotional/spiritual chains and physical/time chains), so I know how you feel about being free. Free to live and be you. Enjoy!

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Thank you, Snotpin, interesting read!

I also live in a European, secular state.

In one way I guess it is easier to deconvert here than in the US. There are a lot of people around you to get support and sympathy from. Problem is, not many people outside of the Christan "enclaves" understand what it is like to live as a fundamental Christian, in contrast to "the world". They also tend to think that once you're deconverted, you're just like "everybody else". But moral values and so on tend to be the same, or a bit unclear. So you get a feeling of being stuck in the middle.

So more chance of general support, less chance of real understanding.   

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Welcome aboard. Even though you live in a mostly secular area, I'm glad you're out of there and free. The part you mentioned about how people you knew started avoiding you once you left church really resonated with me. I had a similar experience I mentioned here a couple months after I left. I ran into someone from another church of the same denomination, I knew her from this movie screening I went to with a couple others from the church I visited. I ran into her at a store I bike to periodically, and she couldn't back away from me fast enough, could barely say anything to me. She also acted like she'd seen a demon when she saw me. She knew nothing of my deconversion, or of how badly I struggled in those last few months I was going to church.


Other than that, someone else I ran into last summer at another store wouldn't even look at me, and this was someone who called me their friend like right after we met and got to talking. A couple others I saw driving by also wouldn't look at me, even though I know they saw me. I have a feeling they realized I know they were selling me snake oil, and none of them could be bothered to be there for me when the shit hit the fan. Like RenaissanceWoman said, I'd like to think the guilt is eating them alive. It's really pathetic, and it just goes to show how shallow and one-sided relationships with churchies really are.

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Welcome to ExC. I am glad you joined us.

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